Signature to Present Mee, Albee, Parks, Kushner, Etc.

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Signature Theatre Company today announced the next four years of programming as well as the unprecedented Signature Ticket Initiative, made possible by the lead sponsorship of Time Warner, Inc.  To make great theatre accessible to the broadest possible audience, Signature Theatre Company will offer a special $20 ticket (regularly $65) for all seats, for the next four years through their 20th Anniversary season.  Generous support for The Signature Ticket Initiative is provided by Margot Adams, in memory of Mason Adams.

"The next four seasons at Signature promise a remarkable journey, and we are thrilled to be working with this extraordinary roster of playwrights," said James Houghton, Signature Theatre Company's Founding Artistic Director.  "Chuck Mee, Edward Albee, and the artists of the Negro Ensemble Company are esteemed writers who represent the vanguard of theatrical innovation, while Suzan-Lori Parks and Tony Kushner have pioneered the next generation, who champion the theatre as they continue to bring exciting and vital advancements to it. And, to be able to offer their work at an affordable ticket price throughout the four seasons is a wonderful privilege for Signature."

"Time Warner is honored to continue our support of the Signature Theatre Company's ground-breaking ticket initiative," said Lisa M. Quiroz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility at Time Warner.   "The program brings to life our philanthropic mission to help make the arts more accessible.  We see this partnership with Signature as a conduit to introducing new and diverse audiences to quality theatre."

The upcoming 2007-2008 season will feature Playwright-in-Residence Charles Mee, described as "one of the nation's most original and innovative playwrights."  The season will launch in August with the New York premiere of Iphigenia 2.0, followed by the world premiere of Queens Boulevard (the musical), and the world premiere of Paradise Park.  The season will conclude with a Legacy Production of Edward Albee's Occupant.  A Legacy Production is part of the Signature Series where former Playwrights-in-Residence return to Signature to revisit their landmark works.  Subscriptions for the 2007-2008 season are now on sale. 

Mee's Iphigenia 2.0 by Charles Mee, in its New York Premiere, will run August 7-September 30, 2007.  Opening night is August 23, 2007.  Tina Landau (Floyd Collins, Mary Rose) will direct.  "A great imperial power decides to go to war, taking an action so wrong that it sets the empire on the road to complete self-destruction.  Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek army, must prove to his uncertain troops that the dangerous battle they are about to undertake is righteous and worthy by making the ultimate sacrifice himself.  A radical reinvention of the classic play by Euripides that examines the costs of war and loss of innocence," state press materials.

Mee's Queens Boulevard (the musical) will have its world premiere from November 6-December 30, 2007, and will open on December 2, 2007.  Davis McCallum (Mee's Big Love and A Perfect Wedding) will direct.  "On his wedding day, a new husband is determined to find the perfect gift for his bride.  While she waits at home, he searches for the mythical Flower of Heaven and is thrown into a series of colorful adventures on the streets of his neighborhood in Queens, New York.  Inspired by a classical Indian dance drama, Queens Boulevard (the musical) celebrates love, community, and life."

Mee's Paradise Park will have its World Premiere from February 12-April 6, 2008, and will open March 2, 2008.  Daniel Fish (Ghosts, Mee's True Love) will direct.  "Welcome to Paradise Park, an amusement park that opens up into all of America and beyond.  Meet the inhabitants of this bizarre carnival of life, including a ventriloquist, his dummy, and a teenage girl on the run.  From Futureworld to Londonland, the Grand Canyon to Fred's Polynesian Dive Shop, step right up to this wild ride of fruit cake tosses, underwater ballets, square dances, and star gazing, too."

Mee has written Big Love, True Love, First Love, bobrauschenbergamerica, Hotel Cassiopeia, Orestes 2.0, Trojan Women 2.0, Summertime and Wintertime among other plays –all of them available on the internet at www.charlesmee.org. His plays have been performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, American Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, the Public Theatre, Lincoln Center, the Humana Festival, Steppenwolf, and other places in the United States as well as in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Vienna, Istanbul and elsewhere. Among other awards, he is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work is made possible by the support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher and Richard B. Fisher.

Also, the theatre will present Edward Albee's Occupant from May 6-June 29, 2008.  Opening night is May 29, 2008.  "Signature caps off its 2007-2008 season with a Legacy Production as part of its Signature Series, in which former Playwrights-in-Residence return to revisit their landmark works.  Originally produced at Signature in 2002, in a limited engagement, Edward Albee's Occupant is a portrait of acclaimed sculptor Louise Nevelson—a quest to capture a charismatic and complex artist and persona.  What is the relationship between creator and creation? Who was Louise Nevelson? Only she knew." Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Albee (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Delicate Balance, The Goat) was Signature's 1993-94 Playwright-in-Residence.

The 2008-2009 season will be an examination of a body of work from The Negro Ensemble Company's collective of writers, whose contributions have helped shape America's theatrical heritage.  Ruben Santiago-Hudson will be the Associate Artist for the season. Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Venus, Topdog/Underdog), who turns American history on its head with her bold and lyrical riffs on race, literature and politics, will be the Playwright-in-Residence for the 2009-2010 season.  Signature's 20th Anniversary season (2010-2011) will conclude with Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America; Caroline, or Change), one of the most celebrated and renowned contemporary writers of his generation.

Visit www.signaturetheatre.org for more information on Signature Theatre Company and to learn more about Mee.

 

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